Sunday, January 15, 2006

Lacking in presence

Watching Sehwag's unfinished 89-ball innings of 96 yesterday was a strange experience. While the strokeplay was a pleasure to watch, something about the setting and atmosphere was discordant. The light was poor and the entire stadium took on a gloomy hue of grey, undeterred by the green of the grass and the white of the player's uniforms. The crowd was thin, and only faint smatterings of applause greeted each shot issuing from Sehwag's blade. The runs came fast, and yet one could barely detect any drama in all of it. No bright lights, no cheering crowds, no attacking fields, nothing that would have upped the drama quotient and provided the appropriate backdrop for his heroics. In the end, when he walked off on being offered the light, you sensed he didn't care very much whether he was out there or back in the pavilion. Actors like their stage to provide some presence - the Gaddafi Stadium had none.

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